Customers voice concern over IP telephony security

Security fears are the biggest concern of internet protocol (IP) telephony customers worldwide, according to a senior Alcatel executive.

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By  Diana Milne Published  March 5, 2006

Security fears are the biggest concern of internet protocol (IP) telephony customers worldwide, according to a senior Alcatel executive. Speaking to IT Weekly at the Alcatel Enterprise Forum in Paris, France, last month, Gabriel Karam, marketing and business development manager for enterprise solution devices, Africa, Middle East, India and Turkey, said tackling security issues was a key priority for the company. “What we are seeing is that security is the main concern of customers. And one of our main aims in IP communications is to improve security when we implement voice over internet protocol (VoIP) networks,” he stated. “The biggest threat is computer viruses. The other threat is hackers gaining access to the network,” he added. Karam explained that to combat the threat of viruses Alcatel uses the Linux operating system (OS) which he described as “much more secure than a Windows 0S.” “You never hear about a Linux OS being infected by a virus,” he went on to claim. Karam said that in the Middle East two other factors are slowing down the growth of IP telephony — government regulations and the reluctance on the part of users to break away from traditional telephony technology. Alcatel claims to hold 17% of the enterprise market with its IP communications technology in the region. “Some facts are delaying that growth — regulatory issues in the region are one factor. At present VoIP has not been legalised but we expect this to change and that we will see more growth as a result in the future,” he said. “Another factor is people’s fear over the move towards IP in voice, namely because they are used to working in a traditional time division multiplexing (TDM) environment,” he added. However, he described the region as a “booming market” where Alcatel has enjoyed the highest growth in the take up of its IP communications technology. ”We have identified some fast growing markets all over the world and the Middle East is one of the booming markets we are targeting,” he went on to say.

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